Mike and Jamie Vos always dreamed of buying a home where they would put down roots and raise their children. In 2008, they found a house that seemed perfect — a two-story house on a quiet street in Buckley, Washington. For the first time their daughter, Autumn, then 5, and their son Cameron, then 11, would have their own bedrooms.
The Vos bought the house and regularly made their mortgage payments. But in early 2009 while the national economy was entering the worst downturn since the Great Depression, the family saw financial trouble looming and decided seek a loan modification in order to lower their monthly payments. They were turned down.
The Vos said that’s when they sought advice from Bank of America, the bank that was servicing their loan.
Mike Vos said that he remembers the conversation well: “They (Bank of America) said, We can’t tell you to do this, we’re just giving you information on it. If you don’t make a payment for three months, it will show that you are in distress and you’ll be put at the top of the order to be able to be helped.”
After hearing that advice, the Vos said they stopped making payments, and applied again for a loan modification. They said the process was overwhelming and confusing.
“It was this endless battle, it just seemed like, no matter what we couldn’t win”, Jamie Vos said. “We would send things in 30 times and when they finally did say they got it they would wait so long after that they would say the paperwork had expired and we needed to do it again.”
Jamie Vos said she would be on the phone with the bank for hours, but the next time she called there would be no record of the previous conversation.
On June 3, 2010, Bank of America denied their loan modification and the next day foreclosed and took possession of the Vos home.
The Vos said they pleaded with Bank of America to undo the foreclosure, noting that Mike’s income had improved and they could make their payments. A month later, they received word in an e-mail from Bank of America that the foreclosure sale had been rescinded. But later the bank said the sale was not rescinded and the foreclosure would stand.